Analyzing Plagiarism

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Imagine dedicating years to creating and bringing a novel to life. Imagine using countless hours rearranging and revising drafts. After creating the masterpiece, you spend perhaps an equal amount of time courting a publisher to produce the work. Picture finally holding a copy of the book – your prized product -- imagine the accompanying exhilaration. Now, think of how it would feel to have your genius robbed and reproduced without any acknowledgement or recognition. Furthermore, despite knowing full well that someone has reused the ideas generated you, no criminal action will be taken. This is the case because there are more laws protecting what does not constitute plagiarism than there are laws protecting the victims. Plagiarism is defined on the official online dictionary as, “theft of another person’s writings or ideas. Generally it occurs when someone steals expressions from another author’s composition and makes them appear to be his own work.” Today, plagiarism it is not a prosecutable offense and even high-profile cases will not result in ramifications if the requirements for “copyright infringement” are not fulfilled. In other words, if a situation in which content was stolen does not fit every checkmark on a ridiculous rubric (which seems as if it was contrived by plagiarists itself) the offender can simply go free and thrive despite having knowingly filched content. If the act of plagiarism is so detestable that college careers could be doomed because of it, one can only question why lawmakers and the literary community do not find the act equally deplorable. Why must judges and juries quarrel about “the effect of the use upon the potential market for the copywrighted work…” and such if the action has been committed. Is society punishing the act or the outcome? If I shoplift goods, my intentions with the goods are irrelevant to being prosecuted for the act of theft. Whether I have made money from my stolen goods or simply kept them...
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